Summer meteors 2022: Moon-free in late July and early August

Summer meteors 2022: Dark sky with circle of radial arrows between outlines of Cassiopeia and Perseus.
Summer meteors 2022. Late July and early August are a good time to start watching for Perseid meteors, before the moonlight interferes in the morning sky. The Perseid meteor shower peaks August 11-13, but builds gradually starting in early August. The annual Perseid meteor shower radiant rises late in the evening, around 11 p.m. local time, nearly due northeast in the constellation Perseus. Perseids are best viewed from midnight to sunrise, but moonlight will outshine dim meteors on the peak nights in 2022. The greatest number of meteors will be visible after the radiant rises, but the shooting stars themselves can appear anywhere in the sky, seeming to trail from the radiant point. Read more about the Perseids in 2022.

Summer meteors 2022

In 2022, full moon will fall at the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower. The Perseids’ peak always falls around August 11, 12 and 13. A full moon is up all night.

The instant of new moon – the moon directly opposite a full moon – will fall at 17:55 UTC on July 28, 2022. And so, in late July, the moon is gone from our night sky, traveling across the sky with the sun during the day.

So, in 2022, we recommend that you try watching for meteors around late July and early August. Two meteor showers will be happening then: both the Perseids and the Delta Aquariids. The best time to watch is after midnight, when the radiant points for these showers have had a chance to climb into your sky, from all points on Earth. You won’t see as many meteors as at the peak. But you will see meteors in both the Perseids and the Delta Aquariids … and you won’t be drowned out by bright moonlight.

Need a dark sky site? Visit EarthSky’s Best Places to Stargaze.

Upcoming moon phases

The instant of first quarter moon will be 11:07 UTC on August 5. A first quarter moon rises at noon and sets at midnight.

The instant of full moon is 1:36 UTC on August 12. A full moon rises at sunset and is in the sky all night.

Star chart with Great Square of Pegasus to Fomalhaut to a ring of radial arrows near Delta Aquarii.
Summer meteors 2022. The nominal peak of the Delta Aquariid meteor shower is July 29. But the reality is that these meteors ramble along steadily throughout late July and early August. Delta Aquariid meteors radiate from near the star Skat, aka Delta Aquarii, in the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer. The meteor shower takes its name from this star. Read more about the Delta Aquariids in 2022.

Bottom line: In 2022, full moon falls at the peak of the Perseid meteor shower on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13. So EarthSky recommends you try watching in late July and early August, when a second meteor shower, the Delta Aquariids, will also be rambling along. Watch after midnight in a dark sky!

Want to see more night sky events? Visit EarthSky’s night sky guide

July 26, 2022

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Deborah Byrd

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